The first newly created branch of the U.S. armed forces in more than seven decades now has its first official member.
Air Force Gen. John "Jay" Raymond was sworn in Tuesday as Chief of Space Operations. It's the top post in what since late last month is the Pentagon's seventh military branch, the United States Space Force.
With one hand placed on a Bible whose "official" blessing on Sunday sparked sharp criticism, Raymond was sworn in by Vice President Pence at the vice president's ceremonial office.
"It is President Trump's belief that the United States must remain as dominant in space as we are on land and sea and the air," Pence told Raymond before administering the oath. "And your charge is to see to that mission with the United States Space Force."
The 4-star general, who already wears two other hats as commander of both the Air Force Space Command and the U.S. Space Command, donned his additional new hat with evident enthusiasm.
"Mr. Vice President, we have our marching orders and we are moving out," Raymond told Pence. "We do not want a conflict to begin or extend into space, we want to deter that conflict from happening. The best way I know how to do that is to do so from a position of strength."